Your Puget Sound course of study will be divided into three parts: the university core, the academic major, and elective classes. The university core lies at the heart of the liberal arts curriculum, introducing you to a wide range of disciplines and giving you the intellectual breadth you will need for whatever life goals you may ultimately choose. The academic major gives you the opportunity to study a single discipline in depth, developing proficiency and sophistication in that area of study. The number of classes required in the core and major are kept within strict limits by the faculty to allow you the flexibility to choose, or elect, additional classes that interest you. These classes are called electives, and some students use them to develop minors, others to develop proficiency in a language or mathematics or a science, and others simply to carry on the academic exploration they began as they met core requirements.
First-year advising classes are chosen from a group of offerings that either meet core requirements or serve as useful introductions to a major area of study. All entering first-year students begin their careers as undeclared majors, with selection of majors occurring in the second to fourth semesters of study, after exploring options in and out of the classroom. Your first-year advising class will give you the opportunity either to meet a core requirement or to explore an academic discipline of interest to you, or quite often both.